Tag Archives: brunch

Coffee Shop Blueberry Muffins

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Coffee shop style blueberry muffins; extra-large and packed with blueberries. A not-so-naughty treat for any time in the day… including breakfast!

This weekend I really fancied a simple bake, and although this does require the use of two bowls (which for some of my friends precludes this from being called simple!) it really is very straightforward and hard to go wrong. These muffins, without fail, come out light, slightly chewy, and bursting with blueberries every time.

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Now is the beginning of the blueberry season in the UK; perhaps a little early to see a lot of British blueberries in the shops, but keep an eye out as they will be there very soon. Maybe it’s just me, but I find fruit and veg are always best bought and eaten when in season, and the blueberries here were packed with flavour – something you need in a good blueberry muffin!

Another great thing about these muffins is you probably already have all the ingredients, bar the blueberries, at home. So there are no excuses when you want to whip up a quick batch of these – which is a dangerous thing to realise!

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I would not advocate eating these for breakfast (although of course for “research purposes” I did!) but they did make a nice treat. My favourite time to eat them was as a not-so-naughty elevenses treat, with a strong black coffee on the side; Just like you would in your favourite coffee shop.

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Filed under Fruit, Muffins

Cinnamon & Banana French Toast

IMG_0921Golden, soft yet crispy cinnamon french toast, topped with banana and served with a drizzle of maple syrup. This is a breakfast favourite I can promise you will keep coming back to.

French toast (or, honestly, eggy bread as it is called in my house) is one of my favourite breakfasts. I’ll tell you a naughty secret… I don’t just eat it on the weekends! If I feel like I need a pick-me-up breakfast on a weekday, this is my go to recipe as it can always put a smile on my face.

I eat french toast in several ways (try vanilla and blueberry with a sprinkle of icing sugar, or chocolate spread and strawberries) but this has to be my favourite. Despite drenching it in maple syrup, it tends to be a little less sweet than the other types, so you can try to convince yourself it’s better for you.

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Maple syrup is on the pricey side, but trust me when I say do not substitute it for honey or sugar. I used Waitrose Maple Syrup No.2 which has a stronger flavour – I prefer this to the lighter, less strong kinds as I find I tend to use a lot less which, for a breakfast recipe, is probably a good thing. Do make sure you buy pure maple syrup – not maple flavoured syrup, which is not real maple syrup, overly sweet and not maple-y at all.

This is a very simple recipe, requiring only a few ingredients. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes from when you start to getting it in your mouth, which for any breakfast recipe is a winning factor. I hope you enjoy!

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Cinnamon & Raisin Bagels

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A denser than normal bread with a crisp and chewy crust. Flavoured with cinnamon and stuffed with raisins, these are perfect just lightly buttered and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Bagels have been a very recent discovery for me. I often don’t bother to check the ingredients on baked goods, presuming they have butter or milk in them, but recently found New York Bakery Company’s bagels are dairy free! And so the last few weeks have been bagel filled whilst I’ve been trying different toppings, and it seems that everyone has their favourite combination. After experimenting with everything from eggs, jams and marmalades, peanut butter and chocolate spread, I have settled on my favourite…. Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels lightly buttered with a cinnamon sugar topping.

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These freshly bakes bagels are so much better than the shop bought variety; more crusty and chewy on the outside, much less dense in the middle. They were perfect just reheated in the oven for a few minutes, split open and then buttered. If you, like me, have no problem with something sweet occasionally for breakfast, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and sugar on top too. I love cinnamon so am generous with the cinnamon – Although there is quite a lot in the dough already, it only gives a gentle flavour once the bagels have been baked so I like to ramp it up.

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Bagels on paper did not look that difficult to make – but they were certainly one of the more challenging types of bread that I have made. There are two things that made it different to normal dough; One thing is that you make a pre-ferment (sounds complicated but was actually incredibly simple), and the second is that the dough has very low hydration levels, which makes it very stiff and a good work out for your arms to knead it. I would not recommend making these as a first time bread maker, but if you’ve made any sort of bread before you will be fine.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Richard Bertinet’s book ‘Crust’ but has been adapted to make them cinnamon and raisin flavoured. If you wanted to make plain bagels simply omit the cinnamon and raisins and reduce the honey to 20g.

With all of that being said these bagels were so delicious and worth the effort that I will definitely be doing them again. It makes me wish we held brunches at our house just to have an excuse to make them regularly!

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Filed under Bread, breakfast, Sweet treats